Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Snippets from a Writer's Life

Even though I tried to avoid it, my Saturday felt more like a hectic, running errands Saturday than I planned.  In a way, that's good because we got some things done:  motorcycle covers bought (expensive!), library books returned, hair cut, pot roast made.  But I feel a bit fragmented today.

So let me record some snippets that I don't want to lose.

--I think about the end the post I wrote yesterday:  And now it's time to work on pot roast!  We make it in the magnalite roasting pan that used to be my grandmother's--if I wrote a poem about my version of ancestor worship/communication, that would be a stanza.

Throughout the day of errand running, I thought of other stanzas, or maybe only one stanza, where the rhythm of the worship service is a way to communicate with our dead.

Rather than force this poem to come this week-end, I'm going to think about it for a few more days and see what wants to speak to me.

--I'd like to write a poem today--I feel this practice of poetry slipping away.  Let me be alert for possibilities as I move through my Sunday morning.

--Twice this past week at church I've made the sign of a cross on the foreheads of worshippers.  Last Sunday was our healing service, and I was assisting minister, so I used oil.  On Ash Wednesday, I used ashes.  What interests me is that I like smudging ashes more than using oil, and I wonder why.  For more on these thoughts, see this post on my theology blog.

--A friend of mine wrote an e-mail that told of drama at a conference; you'd think that these people were teenagers, but the main drama instigator is a woman in her mid-60's.  My friend wonders if she's doing something that attracts these "poo bombers," as she called them.  I wrote, "I think that we notice the poo bombing more as we get older, because it's so unusual.  In college, many people seemed to be in some stage of unravelling, which often involved involving others in the madness. In grown up life, happily, most people have knitted themselves into some adult shape they can live with, and they simply don't have the time and energy for these dramas."

--On Friday came the announcement that EDMC is selling all their schools, except for the ones that are closing, to the Dream Center Foundation; for more, this article on Inside Higher Ed is interesting, including this bit:  "The Dream Center, which is a Christian missionary organization sometimes described as Pentecostal, funds programs that primarily provide education, emergency food, medical services and transitional housing to homeless families, young people and veterans in 41 states and 21 countries."

Why do I care?  Because from 2002 until 2016, I worked at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale.  It doesn't seem like a good fit to me.  I can't quite figure out why the non-profit wants these failing schools.  If their mission is to serve the poor and outcast in terms of their most immediate needs, these schools seem outside the mission.  If it's to equip people, by giving them a college education, a school like ITT Tech (yes, I know that they are closed now) would seem to give more of a chance of employment to the clients that the non-profit seems to exist to serve.  But having worked with some of those populations, I still don't understand.  Many, if not most, homeless people are never going to go to college or last very long if they do.  They just have too many issues, some of which can't be fixed by a non-profit organization.

--I confess that I am also interested because even though I left the school, it's been a setting for my linked short story collection that I've been writing for several years.  Although I call it a for-profit art school in the stories, it doesn't take much sleuthing to figure out the connection.  Now I will keep it unnamed and fictional, because this plot twist of a sale to a non-profit would not fit the arc of the stories.

--Or would it?  Stay tuned.

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